Wolfgang Van Halen on New LP: “It Sucks to Know That Dad Isn’t Going to be Popping in”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

In a new interview, acclaimed guitarist Wolfgang Van Halen, who is the son of the prodigious six-string player, the late Eddie Van Halen, talked about making his next new album.

Wolfgang is in the process of making a new record with his band Mammoth. While it’s going well, the son of the guitar legend said he’s sad his father won’t be there to help in the process as he did for the band’s debut LP. Eddie passed away in 2020 at 65, following a battle with throat cancer.

“It sucks to know that Dad isn’t going to be popping in every now and then like he did the first time,” Wolfgang told Guitar World. “So it’s going to be different, but the goal overall is the same, which is to make music I would like to hear and that I enjoy. That’s how I follow my writing process.

He added, “The main goal is to widen the breadth of what the output can be. I like to view it as this sort of cone if you will, where the left side is the softer songs, the right side is the heavier songs, and everything in between is scaled properly. Songs on the left would be like Distance and Think It Over, and on the right would be something like StoneYou’re to Blame, and Don’t Back Down. The desire I have with this new album is to go further and beyond on both sides.”

A lot has changed in the past few years for Wolfgang, he says. And that shows up in the music he makes, too.

Responding to the question, “Who were you when you began working on the first Mammoth album, and who are you now?” the 31-year-old said, “I’m a very different person. The person who made the album started working on it way back in 2015, and that Wolfie has been through a lot of shit to become the Wolfie I am today, especially in the last three years.

He added, “The things I experienced have certainly changed the way I look at life and the way I operate, and I’m sure in many ways that I don’t even realize. It’s weird to be in my 30s. I’ve been through all kinds of stuff since the start of that record and now, so it feels exciting, bittersweet, and all kinds of emotions at once as I get ready to record this next album.”

Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images

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